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  1. #1

    Default Question About Iwo Jima

    I know most of the archeological finds on this site are made in Europe. But does anyone have information or resources about the extensive tunnel system under Iwo Jima? I don't know how extensively they were searched after the war and I would not be surprised if allot of material could be found there today.

    Any info would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    Hi Brian,
    I think you may find that most of the tunnels were blown up at the entrance and exit, after the war but you are right in thinking that there must be extensive relics down there. it would be good to find out, I should think also that there are a number of Japanese soldiers still left in them. very interesting question.
    dave.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    Dave, thx for the reply,

    True, but like any tomb the entrances could be found and opened or new ones made. As you say with all of the remains inside I'm sure it is considered a war grave and it is completely in Japanese control again. I was just thinking of the opening of Letters From Iwo Jima where they find a box of all those last letters home.

  4. #4
    WRF Club member AZPhil's avatar in War relics WW2 military forums
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    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    Iwo Jima Is totally off limits. You need special permission from the Japanese gov. They have a Air base/post there.
    There are special trips made by the US Marine Corps. Its is a Marine Thing! I have some friends that went there and have pic's of all the relic's that are left AS IS. you are not allowed to touch them., Rusted Rifles, helmets,canteens,Saki bottles,some of the tunnels were blown but there are ALOT of caves.
    It is consider a place of Honor for the Fallen.
    ON BOTH SIDES!
    Semper Fi

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    There are a lot of relics there. Most of the ground finds have already been policed up by Navy and Marines over the 50 odd years before it was given back.

    I was there in 1989 before it was returned. It is impossible to dig your hand into the sand and not come up with a handfull of spent cartridge cases on the beach.

    Poking around in the caves is strictly forbidden as there are still remains of both Japanese and Marines in them.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    Great info guys. Have they ever been mapped, what can be gotten to? Also I am surprised CILHI or the Japanese equivalent has not gotten involved and recovered the remains of the fallen. Yes it is a place of honor and I in no shape form or fashion would condone disturbing anything there. It was only a what if, or wishful thinking. Steve Irwin did a special a few years back on relics and sunken ships and planes. He found a p-40 with the remains of the pilot still in it underwater and found the remains of a Japanese soldier in a bunker on Pelileu where my father fought.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    Quote by Brian Childress View Post
    Great info guys. Have they ever been mapped, what can be gotten to? Also I am surprised CILHI or the Japanese equivalent has not gotten involved and recovered the remains of the fallen. ......

    Both entities are involved in programs on Iwo; however, there are more pressing recoveries. The main draw back to recovery of remains on Iwo is the threat from "booby traps", mines and other UXO in the caves. The best approach is to leave things where they are until they have to be disturbed and respect the caves as tombs.

    Brad

  8. #8

    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    Quote by Formerjughead View Post
    Both entities are involved in programs on Iwo; however, there are more pressing recoveries. The main draw back to recovery of remains on Iwo is the threat from "booby traps", mines and other UXO in the caves. The best approach is to leave things where they are until they have to be disturbed and respect the caves as tombs.

    Brad
    Well said Brad.

    I can just imagine there are similar circumstances on all of the battlefields of the Pacific. How are these things handled on islands with large civilian populations such as Okinawa, Guam, Saipan and the Phillipenes?

    I remember when I was in jr high a new kid who had lived on Guam showed up. He had a bunch of spent shell casings, .50 call, 30.06 and maybe some Japanese 7.7 too. This was the mid 70's and he said it was easy to find stuff all over the island. He told me he and a friend were exploring the jungle and came across an almost intact A6M. I did not know if I believed him or not.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    Quote by Brian Childress View Post
    Well said Brad.

    I can just imagine there are similar circumstances on all of the battlefields of the Pacific. How are these things handled on islands with large civilian populations such as Okinawa, Guam, Saipan and the Phillipenes?

    .........
    There is generally a government entity made up of civillian and military personell that attend excavations for civil projects and clear areas prior to construction.

    Germany has a group called the Kampfmittelräumdienst who are actively clearing battlefields. Here is a link to some of their work:
    Page Title

  10. #10
    WRF Club member 85ronnies's avatar in War relics WW2 military forums
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    Default Re: Question About Iwo Jima

    formerjughead thanx for posting the link, i cant get off it, very interesting site thanks again
    Ronnie

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